New Perspectives in the Study of Mesoamerican Primates

Part of the series Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects pp 165-188

The Effects of Forest Fragment Age, Isolation, Size, Habitat Type, and Water Availability on Monkey Density in a Tropical Dry Forest

  • Holly Noelle DeGama-BlanchetAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of Calgary
  • , Linda Marie FediganAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of Calgary

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In summary, forest fragment age is an important explanatory variable for capuchin and howler density (higher densities were found in older areas of forest), whereas it makes no contribution to explaining the density of spider monkeys. The presence of evergreen forests in ACG is also important for explaining the absolute density of all three species, as there were higher densities in fragments containing evergreen forest. Transects where water was available in the dry season had higher capuchin densities; water availability appears to be more important for this species than for the spider monkeys and howlers. Forest fragment isolation and size made little contribution to explaining the density of any primate in ACG, probably due to the large size of forest fragments surveyed. Based on these findings, we conclude that older fragments of forest with dryseason standing water, and a substantial amount of evergreen forest should be preferentially protected to enhance the conservation of white-faced capuchins, black-handed spider monkeys, and mantled howlers in Costa Rica.